Letter from the Director of Education

It is the mission of Noorthoek Academy to provide a continuing education in the arts and sciences to students with learning challenges and other intellectual disabilities, with the purpose of expanding horizons, exciting curiosity, and encouraging self-expression.

Our fall semester took us on an adventure to Hawaii and Alaska (Fire and Ice). We learned about the important events that shaped their statehood. Learning about the similarities and differences between the native groups of each of these regions allowed us to further explore the idea of nature and people being connected. You will see poetry related to the idea of how nurturing nature also nurtures each other. The beautiful people and environments of Hawaii and Alaska were the backdrop for much of our creative expression this semester.

Noorthoek students went “Back in Time” to the early 1900’s during winter semester. We explored the events that took place during this time and how it affects our life today. Students continually questioned whether life was better in 1900 or present day. Most students found it impossible to think about life without indoor plumbing, microwave ovens, and telephones. This was a time when many immigrants arrived in the United States seeking a better life. Many students took the opportunity to learn about their own family history.

The poems you will read in this edition of the Elizabeth and Katherine Crouch Poetry Blog are reflections of what has been learned this year. The title Ribbons of Color comes from a poem by the same name written by Samantha O. Her poem paints an image of the Alaskan night sky illuminated by the Aurora Borealis, providing a reminder that sometimes the harshest environments can produce the most beautiful reward. It is my great honor to introduce the poems from Noorthoek Academy students during the 22-23 academic year. I truly believe that if you listen closely to the words within that you will see inside the heart of each student.  Please enjoy!